Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hawks Lose Disappointing Game One: 4-1

It was obvious from the start, thatthe Portland Winterhawks were excited to get Game One of the WHL Final with the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings under way. They controlled the flow of play for large portions of play, especially early in the game. They were not rewarded for their amazing effort, as Edmonton Goalie Laurent Brossoit stood on his head, inspiring his team to play a strong defensive game and leading the way in their 4-1 Game One win.

The first period began with some of the best offensive pressure the Hawks have created since Game one of the playoffs with Everett. Just like in Game one of the playoffs, the Hawks had nothing to show for it. Unlike in that game, Edmonton was able to score a goal against the flow of play. This they scored on their first shot of the game, There was a loose puck in the slot that Hawks forward Preston Kopeck could not corral. It deflected off of his skate and ended up on the stick of Dylan Wruck, who flicked it by a screened Mac Carruth for, surprisingly, only his second of the playoffs. Portland looked to tie it up on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play from Rattie, Petan and Leipsic that ended with Leipsic putting it past Brossoit. It was first ruled a goal, before the replay clearly showed that Leipsic kicked in the puck. The goal was disallowed and play continued at 1-0 Edmonton. Portland entered the second period out shooting Edmonton 16-6 and probably out chancing them 7-1, but with no gals to show for it.
Dylan Wruck

The second period would see the flow of play move more towards balanced. Edmonton created a lot of pressure on the Hawks Defense and an unlikely source for a Hawk's turnover: Captain Troy Rutkowski coughed up the puck off of a bad pass of the boards that landed right on Stephane Legault's stick. Legault passed it to a rushing Henrik Samuellson and then provided a screen in front on Carruth. Samuellson's shot found the high blocker side of Carruth's net for Henrik's 10th of the playoffs and a 2-0 lead. The shots were even in the period with the Hawks out shooting Edmonton 27-17 overall.

Portland made it at a whole new hockey game 3 minutes into the third, when Taylor Leier put home the second rebound off of a Chase De Leo shot to make it a 2-1 game. The relieved Rose Garden crowd would only have 47 seconds of breathing a little easier as Henrik Samuellson found another loose puck off of a skate and scored a spinning shot past, you guessed it, a screened Carruth for  restored 2 goal lead (3-1). Edmonton put the game away after Keegan Lowe's point shot took a weird hop off the boards behind Carruth, where Curtis Lazar found it and put it past an out of position Carruth. The Hawks would create very few strong scoring chances the rest of the way as Edmonton continued doing what they do best: keep the other team away from the front of the net and most of the pressure off to the sides.

Brossoit stopped 35 of 36 shots and Carruth stopped 24 of 29. Edmonton was 0/1 on the power play and the "potent," Hawks power play went 0/4.
Laurent Brossoit

3 Stars:
#3- Caurtis Lazar- One of the Oil King's best defensive forwards did a great job of creating the few offensive chances that he got.

#2- Henrik Samuellson- 2 Goals and he was once again a heavy hitting machine out there. His size made it hard for the Hawk's smaller forwards to create much pressure up the center of the ice.

#1- Laurent Brossoit- No question here as the Oil Kings staggered early and he was the only thing keeping the game from getting out of hand.

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